Front Office Newsbeat
Monday, February 13, 2017
Why not also add in a “college of coaches”?
The setup is somewhat different. In November both were named senior vice presidents, with Neander also the general manager, and both are working under baseball operations president Matt Silverman, giving the Rays, in essence, a three-headed department.
“It is a unique structure,” Silverman said. “But it works because of the uniqueness of their paths and the relationship they’ve been able to form over a decade.”
Sunday, January 29, 2017
The hammer of justice may be about to strike:
A federal judge has unsealed details about former St. Louis Cardinals executive Chris Correa’s hacking of the Astros’ email and player evaluation databases, clearing the way for Major League Baseball to impose sanctions against the Cardinals as soon as this week.
Three documents entered into court records but made public by U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes on Thursday reveal new information regarding Correa’s intrusions, for which the former Cardinals scouting director is serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty in January 2016 to five counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer.
. . .
According to the documents, portions of which remained redacted, Correa intruded into the Astros’ “Ground Control” database 48 times and accessed the accounts of five Astros employees. For 21/2 years, beginning in January 2012, Correa had unfettered access to the e-mail account of Sig Mejdal, the Astros’ director of decision sciences and a former Cardinals employee. Correa worked in St. Louis as an analyst under Mejdal, who came to Houston after the 2011 season with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, also a former Cardinals executive.
“(Correa) knew what projects the Astros’ analytics department was researching, what concepts were promising and what ideas to avoid,” said one of the documents, signed by Michael Chu, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case against Correa. “He had access to everything that Sig Mejdal ... read and wrote.”
Fines, draft choices, and limiting the Cardinals to dial-up Internet may be in play.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
No Baseball America feature is complete without a Top 10 Prospects list, so while gathering information about the job of scouting director, we also asked people where the next generation of scouting directors might come from. This ranking is not a formal poll, but does reflect the opinions of the more than 25 current scouting directors and other front-office executives.
1. Danny Montgomery
Assistant Scouting Director, Rockies
Montgomery, 47, has been with the Rockies since the birth of the franchise, rising from area scout to his current position. Scouting director Bill Schmidt said he leans on Montgomery in a variety of ways.
“I’ve been with Danny going on 13 years and I lean on Danny,” Schmidt said. “He has a big input on what goes on here and that’s what people don’t see, is Danny’s involved in all areas. He’s been involved in Latin America, going down there and helping us get that program off the ground 12 years ago and teaching Rolando Fernandez how to scout. He does pro stuff in the summer, he’s been to Asia for the Olympics and to scout and run clinics for us. Danny’s kind of been all over the world for us.”
Montgomery played at UNC Charlotte and was drafted as a second baseman in the 14th round of the 1986 draft. He spent three seasons in the Dodgers system before being hired as a scout in 1989. He covered North Carolina and South Carolina for the Dodgers before joining the Rockies in 1992. He became a regional crosschecker in 1999, was promoted to national crosschecker in 2003 and to assistant scouting director in 2006.
“Danny, first and foremost, is a quality person,” Schmidt said. “He’s a good evaluator and Danny’s had opportunities in the past . . . He’s just wanted to stay here; this has been his home. But he’s a very good scout and has all the qualities you would look for in a scouting director.”
Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/top-10-future-scouting-directors-13470/#oP9WoXJd0XvVcdsq.99
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Some great insights into MLB front offices by Eno Harris.
“We were in an era where a lot of great statistical analysis was being done on the internet,” one respondent reminisced, “but now the internet is far behind right now due to the proprietary data the teams have.”
There was some brain drain, as many of yesterday’s blogging analysts now pepper front offices, such as Houston’s Mike Fast and Chicago’s Jeremy Greenhouse, among others. But if more data were available, this baseball person was sure that the public would produce another crop of great analysts: “Today’s people could be there, but they’ve got one hand tied behind their back—teamwork is so much richer.”
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
What it really comes down to, though, is why should they care? In many cases, the style of hiring that teams are used to has had decent-to-great results, with the best-case scenario being the two front offices that just made the World Series. As we discussed in our previous work, there are studies that suggest in the “outside” business world, increased diversity in the workplace does lead to higher success for the company, but there have been no such studies in the small and rarefied world of baseball. However, it’s hard to believe that baseball would be some sort of weird exception.
As it is, that’s the case we have to make. We recognize that there are people reading this article who have many different opinions on the concept of what is commonly called “affirmative action.” When you start talking about race and who gets hired for what job, it’s bound to open up a rather large can of worms. The thing about baseball is that the league has no ability to mandate that the teams hire anyone. So, if MLB (or any of the readers out there) want to make the case that increasing the number of racial and ethnic minorities in the front office is a good goal, they’ll have to make the case that it’s a good business decision. Maybe that was the entire point of the Selig Rule: to nudge people out of their comfort zone a little bit.
There isn’t an easy answer that goes with this one, and that’s not a cop out. These are really complex issues. We can see that the Selig Rule “worked” to at least a small degree, but past that, there’s not a lot that MLB can actively do on the matter, and if we’re talking about GMs, then the effects of whatever they do come up with might not be felt for another decade. As frustrating as a conclusion as that might be, that’s the way things are right now. But it’s also an opportunity.
To echo a point we made in our previous work, if a team’s hiring practices are (unintentionally) screening people out based on demographics, are they also systematically screening people out who have brilliant ideas? More than anything, I think that’s the argument that would win the day.
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